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ACLU: Kansas City doesn't have plan to reimburse wrongfully-towed cars

Posted at 3:24 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 19:16:53-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit this week against Kansas City, Mo.

The lawsuit claims people’s rights are being violated because Kansas City does not reimburse people who were wrongfully ticketed and their cars towed to the impound lot. 

Dyanna Black's car was ticketed and towed when she parked in downtown Kansas City two years ago. She went to court and showed pictures to help prove that she was legally parked when she was towed.

Black remembers the sinking feeling she had when she realized her car was gone.

"Just felt it didn't feel right. I felt violated that they took my car for no reason," said Black.

She paid $265 for the tow-fee. She went to Municipal Court and the judge ruled in her favor - dismissing the ticket. But Kansas City does not have a process to allow people to challenge and recover tow fees if they can prove their car should not have been towed.

The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in and is suing Kansas City in federal court, claiming the city's failure to have an appeals and repayment system for towing is violating people's civil rights.

"We are simply asking for the city to put a mechanism in place that would allow a person to try to get their money back," said ACLU attorney Gillian Wilcox.

Kansas City officials said they cannot comment on pending litigation.